December 16, 2013 | Tom Suddes

3 Big Things We Created …

We had almost everybody to Eagle Creek last week for year-end review, 2014 goals and planning and some serious celebration!

As I was listening to the team talk about impact that we have had in 2013, I was reminded of the power of our thinking, models and frameworks.

Three of the really big things that resonated most with clients and in our trainings were actually things that we (kind of) invented:

    1. MASTER PROSPECT LIST. Top-down, descending order of importance, rating based primarily on Capacity and Relationship, not ‘siloed’ into individual or corporate or foundation or whatever and more.
    In all the sales trainings I’ve attended over the years and all the sales books I’ve read … I’ve not seen anyone use this concept of the MPL to drive Prioritization and Strategy with prospects.
    2. PREDISPOSITION. Again, this is a term that we coined (pun intended) to raise a lot more money. Professionals in the For Impact world do not make ‘cold calls‘. We predispose before any contact with our best prospects and before every visit. Professionals know they have 30 minutes, on average, for the Presentation of the Opportunity. Anything and everything that we can do before that presentation to help the prospect make a decision is invaluable.
    ***The three parts to our Sales Process are of equal importance: PREPARATION/PREDISPOSITION … PRESENTATION … FOLLOW-UP.
    3. THE ENGAGEMENT TOOL. This one-page PRESENTATION FLOW, at altitude, has become an absolutely indispensable part of our client and coaching success.

Special Note: We are committed in 2014 to continue bringing you as many ideas and frameworks and nuggets as we can to help you make an even greater IMPACT. Stay tuned for re-designed ForImpact.org to better serve as a resource.


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December 9, 2013 | Tom Suddes

IMPACT … IN YOUR LIFE

Jason H., a For Impact Tribe Member, shared the following graphic from Anna Vital.

impact
Click to see full size version.

Makes a great point. Your personal life, starting something that matters, a lot more.

***Still trying to figure out how we at For Impact can IMPACT 198,000,000 people!


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December 5, 2013 | Nick Fellers

Meet Farnam Street. And, think.

I’m excited to share with you the crown jewel of the Internet.

Meet Farnam Street: (Seeking wisdom by mastering the best of what other people have figured out).

It’s not really a blog.  It’s more like a feed of incredible tools to help you THINK.

Farnam Street is run by Shane Parrish.  I know three people who read as much as he does: Charlie Munger, Bill Gates, and Tom Suddes.

For Impact | The Suddes Group is sponsoring Farnam Street. We’re really proud of this partnership because we feel like it gives us a chance to invest in the sharing of ancient wisdom and modern thinking – in the form of digestible nuggets.

The Suddes Group has been working ‘in the field’ since 1983, delivering funding results for organizations. We have been packaging and sharing our thinking via For Impact (website, training, publishing) since 2000.

Clients tell us again and again, “We chose to work with you for your clear thinking, simple approach, and transformational results.” I don’t need to hire a branding consultant to see the value in more statements like that.

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, that’s why so few people engage in it.” - Henry Ford

So brand-building, partnerships… all that’s great.  On a more meta level I believe, simply, Shane and Farnam Street are providing tons of value to the universe. That’s impact.
We’re FOR  IMPACT. I’ll invest in that.

Thanks, Shane.


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December 4, 2013 | Nick Fellers

December Teleseminars: Sharing the best coaching from 2013

This month we’re delivering three teleseminars. Teleseminars are:

  • Short 45-minute bursts of learning. They package and share the most popular takeaways from our coaching and training.
  • Designed for alums, past clients and long-timer followers to provide reinforcement and continued value.
  • Practical – above all else.
  • $45 or free for the first 45 registrants.

Join us…


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December 3, 2013 | Tom Suddes

STORYLINES. STORYBOARDS. STORYTELLING. The Power of Story transcends just about everything.

I thought this would be a good follow-up to Seth Godin’s thoughts on STORY.

Everything you do should be built around a STORY!

STORYLINES. STORYBOARDS. STORYTELLING. The Power of Story transcends just about everything.

The POWER of STORYTELLING is a given. It goes back, literally, to the beginning of humankind! STORIES are, without question, the most meaningful way to communicate any (and I mean ANY) MESSAGE!

Here’s a simple test: Ask any of your Volunteer Leaders or Board Members (or even key staff) if they would rather:

ASK THEIR FRIENDS FOR MONEY

OR

SHARE THE STORY –> PRESENT THE STORY!

STORY helps with the Open, Dialogue, Conversation, and much more. Building, telling, sharing your STORY is ALL you need to do. And I mean that pretty literally.

In our For Impact world, ‘SHARE THE STORY’ is about:

  1. AUTHENTICITY
  2. DIALOGUE
  3. STORIES … Your Story. Their Story. Org Story.

Read more


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December 3, 2013 | Tom Suddes

What Do We Get When We Give To A Good Cause?

I get Seth Godin’s blog every day. Most of them cause me to think. Some of them give me good ideas.

Here’s one of his lastest posts that I’m simply going to pass on to you to read … because it’s that applicable to our world.

WHAT DO WE GET WHEN WE GIVE TO A GOOD CAUSE?

Seth’s answer: A STORY!!!


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December 2, 2013 | Tom Suddes

START BEFORE YOU’RE READY

I was re-reading for the umpteenth time DO THE WORK by one of my favorite authors Steven Pressfield. Heading down to Wake Forest University to be with their outstanding Advancement Team for some coaching/training.

There is a huge amount both wisdom and motivation in this DTW nugget:

START BEFORE YOU’RE READY.

DON’T PREPARE. BEGIN.

“Remember, our enemy is not lack of preparation; it’s not the difficulty of the project or the state of the marketplace or the emptiness of our bank account.”

“The enemy is resistance.”

“The enemy is our chattering brain, which if we give it so much as a nanosecond will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self-justifications and a million reasons why we can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we know we need to do.”

That quote is one of the reasons that Steven Pressfield is one of the most impactful writers/thinkers in the world. He puts a name on the nugget. He captures in very few words the essence of the problem. Then, gives simple solution. START BEFORE YOU’RE READY.

DON’T PREPARE. BEGIN.

ENGAGE, THEN PLAN.

ACT NOW.

DON’T MAKE DECISIONS FOR YOUR PROSPECTS.

Pressfield quotes W. H. Murray who quotes Goethe with one of my favorite inspirational quotes:

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”


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November 27, 2013 | Tom Suddes

Happy Thanksgiving

Every year I try to share a Thanksgiving Message with our For Impact | The Suddes Group community.

As I re-read my last four or five years of Thanksgiving messages, I was thinking about the timeless nature of these thoughts.

Three things to think about this Thanksgiving and into the holiday season.

    1.“WEALTH IS AN ABUNDANCE OF THINGS WE VALUE.”
    For the first half of my life (30+ years), my understanding of wealth was the same as all my friends, business associates and the general public. ‘WEALTH’ meant you had a lot of money.
    Then I found this definition… and it allowed me to become one of the ‘WEALTHIEST’ people in the world.
    Here’s a simple test of your ‘WEALTH’. Write down a list of all the things that you truly VALUE. Then, put a ‘COST’ (an actual dollar figure) next to everything on the list.
    Most of you will look at the list and realize that the things that we truly VALUE… end up COSTING NOTHING!
    Bob and Melinda Blanchard, in their wonderful entrepreneurial book LIVE WHAT YOU LOVE, have a great line: “It only matters if it BREATHES.”
    My own VALUE LIST is filled with simple things that are alive … family time, adventures with the grandkids, health, friends, business partners, etc. … and, some that are not … a great book, a good cup of coffee, nature, the sun, the ocean, the mountains, a boxing workout, yoga and a ride on the Harley.
    Here’s the pretty obvious point: ‘WEALTH’, no matter how you define it, is not about ‘money’. Money is just ‘worthless wampum’ in the grand scheme of life.
    Clearly, we need to provide ourselves and family with food, shelter, clothing, etc. But if the accumulation of money, a higher salary or how much you can put in your bank or your portfolio is your measurement for success or happiness … I’m guessing you’ll be doing that ‘camel through the eye of the needle’ thing at the end of your life.
    Robert Allen has a great quote, “If a man with many riches suddenly loses all of his money and then jumps out of a window… then, that man was never truly wealthy.”
    In an old ODE magazine (which has now been renamed the OPTIMIST), there was an entire issue around this idea of ‘money’. One of the best lines was a simple statement: “It’s not about MONEY. It’s what you DO with your money.”
    Special Note: I’m an entrepreneur. I’m all about financial freedom. I want to be able to take care of my family, travel, live on the farm and much more. I just don’t believe that money is the scorecard or measurement of wealth or success.
    The Thanksgiving and holiday season is a great opportunity to think of WEALTH as an ABUNDANCE OF THINGS THAT YOU VALUE… and enjoy your ‘WEALTH’.
    2.“ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE.” Almost every book I’ve ever read on personal development has reinforced that ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING.
    My good friend Tim Kight calls this the ‘R’ FACTOR. His brilliant equation is
    E + R = O.
    Event + Response = Outcome.
    Event does not equal the outcome. It’s our RESPONSE (which is almost always a function of our ATITTUDE) that creates the outcome. We are surrounded by relative comfort and certain freedom. Few of us have to worry about struggling each day to meet our basic needs (which is a daily struggle for most of the people in the world). Many people focus on what they see as a lengthy list of negatives, complaints, faults, cynicism. We need to respond with our antidote of GRATITUDE.
    ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE alters the way we see others and ourselves. It inspires us. It builds and supports lasting relationships.
    Take a moment every day to write or think about the many, many things for which we are most grateful. (Julia Cameron calls them ‘morning pages’.) Family. Friends. Freedom. Maslov’s Food, Shelter, Clothing. Greatest country in the world. (And, when you’re my age, the fact that you’re alive and breathing vs. the alternative.)
    3.“THE MORE YOU GIVE THE MORE YOU GET.”
    “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
    I’ve had the privilege of watching thousands of people experience serious ‘giving‘. I’ve also watched many of these people literally move from success to significance. While I don’t exactly understand how it works, I know that giving brings much more happiness thanreceiving.
    There’s a great line from a country song:
    “It’s not what you take with you … when you leave the world behind.”
    “It’s what you leave behind you … when you leave this world behind you.”

I believe all of three of these thoughts help us make a life, not a living.

There’s no better time of the year than now to share with others.

katniss_Tgiving

Katniss, our miniature Highland cow wants you to eat more turkey. From the rest of us at For Impact and The Suddes Group and Eagle Creek, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving and great holiday season.

Special Note: Every year I share these 3 stories that you may want to share with your children or grandchildren or family. THE HAPPY PRINCE is a great story/fable. THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD are seen through the eyes of a child. The third is a very powerful parable about giving called the SEA OF GALILEE.


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November 22, 2013 | Tom Suddes

We Don’t Need a Gettysburg Address

I did a great session with one of the finest small colleges in the world yesterday.

New President. Board (and everyone else) is looking for the ‘GRAND VISION’.

We are seeing this more and more … every day … with all of our clients/partners who are engaged in large transformational funding initiatives.

Our response to pretty much everyone right now is to stop over thinking the whole ‘VISION’ thing.

Yesterday, it was a simple statement: “You don’t need a Gettysburg Address.”

This university has a ridiculously strong and unique Mission and Message. We just laid that out in the ‘Blue’ at 30,000′ … and turned that into a $100 Million Vision.

President-Lincoln

I’m from Springfield, Illinois as was Lincoln.

I love the Gettysburg Address. I love the fact that Lincoln did it in 272 words … and they were really simple, powerful words.

However, not every leader nor every organization needs a ‘Gettysburg Address’ to talk with their best people about TRANSFORMATIONAL GIFTS.

FWIW.


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November 21, 2013 | Tom Suddes

Build Simple: Communication

buildingblocks

This week marks the 150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Lincoln wrote this himself, and it certainly features one of the great openings of all time: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

The final version was 272 words! (I’m sure it took Lincoln many iterations to rid the ‘speech’ of all the words that were not important.)

Washington’s First Inaugural Address was 134 words.

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was written on 3 pages (longhand) … summarized with 3 words … and then SIMPLIFIED again into 3 letters!!!

It seems like ‘we’ can’t write a proposal, a case for support or a request that isn’t 20, 30, 40 pages … smallest type possible … pages of financials …

Lincoln. Washington. Einstein.

Thoreau: “Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. Always simplify.”

And finally, Sir William Ockham’s famous Razor: “What can be done with few assumptions is done in vain with more.”

THINK BIG. BUILD SIMPLE. ACT NOW.


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